I’ve been to some of the most poverty-stricken places on earth, including shanty towns, villages made up of mud huts, dumps where mothers and fathers scavenge alongside their children, and urban slums. What often strikes me the most isn’t what they don’t have, but what they do have: a strong sense of community, much stronger than our sense of community in Muncie, Indiana. Their communities live in abject poverty. We have a poverty of community.
Arianna Huffington is from Greece. (That’s why she talks funny.) Greece is an interesting place to be from these days, with all the protests, spending cuts, and youth unemployment at 40%. She revisited Greece and writes:
But now people are rushing, quite literally, to reengage in civic life. They want to start fresh and awaken the…
“We have a lack of quality low-income housing in Muncie,” Steve, the city’s building commissioner, said. One night a month the Circles community, which works to lift people out of poverty, hosts a Big View session open to the public to discuss issues that people living in poverty face.
Last night we talked about housing.
“Two week into my job I got called out to a house.” Steve paused and stared at the floor. It seemed as if he was setting up a long story that would include details like where the house was and what it looked like. But then he sat back and got right to it. “A mother was holding her…
Ask not what your city can do for you; ask what you can do for your city. Chances are your city no longer has the budget to take on certain tasks.
The USA Today reports that Philadelphians are stepping up as “graduation coaches,” in Nashville citizens are cleaning waterways; in New York volunteers are painting roofs. These are all jobs that city employees would have done.
Twenty-two cities have created positions to recruit and manage volunteers. Has yours?
Asking for help isn’t easy
You couldn’t pay me enough to be in local government right now (or probably ever). Budgets are uber-tight and you’re in trouble if you spend money on something and you’re in trouble if you don’t spend money…
Others argue that it’s important to see TOMS, and the businesses it has inspired, as baby steps in public awareness. Kelsey Timmerman, the author of Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes, writes: “The problem isn’t shoelessness. The problem is poverty. … If every person…
The poverty threshold for a family of four is just over $22,000. I sat down with my budget (on Mint.com– highly recommend Mint) to see how far $22K would get my family.
On $22,000/year, which is $1,833/month or $423/week, we could pay our mortgage, buy groceries, and keep our lights on and water running. That’s about it.
I’m not sure how we would even earn $22,000 because we couldn’t afford transportation to work. There’s just no money left for anything else. Not for health insurance, not for birthday gifts, not for any of the host of minor emergencies my family has faced in the last six months, including, but…
14.3% of Americans live in poverty. How many of them are your neighbors?
(This is the 2nd Glocal Challenge. Let’s Go Glocal together.)
Mom and dad’s dog got out.
I stomped across the frosty fields of snow. The remains of the fall harvest were under foot, making each step a search for balance.
“Zoey! Zoey!” I hollered into woods and across the empty fields.
Until now there had been no reason to knock on the doors of the neighbors. I had lived in the neighborhood for nearly a decade and zipped past the properties at 55 miles/hour. There aren’t even that many neighbors to know – maybe thee to four houses every mile.
“I believe we just build a wall at the border and tell the world (whistles and flips off the world).”
– Stephen Colbert in an interview with Tea Party Express founder Amy Kremer
Jon Stewart will call out his guests and argue with them somewhat respectfully. But Stephen Colbert will totally eviscerate a guest by agreeing with their stance more than any other person in the world ever has…ever. And in doing so, Ms. Kremer’s position was left in a puddle of stupitude along with the failed presidential run of Donald Trump.
You should watch the whole interview (below), but the moment quoted above was by far my favorite and the scariest….
For My first Glocal Challenge, I made a point to boycott American media and force myself to go elsewhere for news. Here’s a sampler of some of the media outlets I turned to and/or were recommended to me. If you have a favorite, make a case for it in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list.
I sorta failed the challenge, but like this list, I’m a work in progress.
The world is complex and the more angles we can see it from the better glocals we can be
North America (other than the major news outlets in the United States)